David viewed the valley that held the Philistine town of Gath when he crested the hill. A quick look at the Philistine sword on his side reminded him of his history with these people.
He swallowed when he looked up. “I don’t know how smart this is. But, I know Saul won’t follow me here. Lord, I pray You’re with me in this. Please bring me through this alive.”
He stepped off the trail and hid the sword between some rocks before he continued into Gath.
A group of women quickened their pace as they returned to town with their water jugs. Soon a group of men appeared at the gate.
David waved at them casually. “Hi guys. I’d like to offer my services to your king. Could you take me to him?”
The men looked at each other with upraised eyebrows.
The eldest of the men stepped forward. “Have you any weapons on you?”
David opened his tunic and spun around. “No, sir. I’m completely unarmed.”
“Very well, then. I’m sure Achish will be thrilled to meet you and hear what you have to say.”
David watched other men entering the large building he was being led to. His thoughts went to the last story of Samson and how he ended his life while taking many Philistine lives with him.
Is this how my life will end?
The men stopped David at the door. He listened to their conversation closely.
“There’s a young man outside offering his services to the king of the land.”
“What services, exactly, is he offering?”
“He hasn’t told us. But, I’m certain you’ll want to hear what he has to say.”
“Very well. Send him in.”
The door opened. David walked in. He could almost feel the wind come in behind him as everyone took in a breath.
The hairs on his neck stood up as he overheard a conversation as he approached the throne.
“Isn’t this the next king of Israel?”
“Indeed, he’s the one they sang of: ‘Saul has killed a thousand while David has killed ten thousand.'”
David dropped to one knee in front of Achish.
Achish leaned forward. “Young man, what services do have that I need? What can you, of all people, do for me?”
David looked to the side of Achish and noticed a door with vertical slats on the back wall.
He opened the door and leaned into it. His hands began to stroke the front and back. “I can play a harp for the king. I’m very good with music. I can even sing for you. ‘The Lord is my shepherd…’ No, that won’t work here.
“How about: ‘Dagon is lower…’ No, not quite right.”
David dug into the door with his fingernails as saliva began to escape his mouth. “If you give me more time I can come up with something you’ll like.”
David moved his tongue around to make more saliva.
He turned to the men in the room. “I can clean your armor. You guys make really good swords. I’m impressed with them.”
The saliva was dripping from his beard as he approached Achish. “I can wash the king’s feet.”
He fell on his hands and knees. “What do you say king? Do you want me to wash your feet?”
Achish pulled his feet off the floor and tucked them under his legs. “Take this crazy man away from me. Don’t I have enough crazy people around me? The last thing I need is another one taking up my precious time and energy.”
Achish pointed at David, then the door. “Take him far outside the city gate. I never want to lay eyes on this madman again.”
Two men came and picked David up by his arms.
David let his legs drag on the floor. “So, you’re treating me like a dog, huh?”
He barked and bit at one of the men. When they dropped him outside the city David rose up on his hands and knees. He turned on them like a dog, growling and snapping at them.
When they ran back to the city and closed the gate David let out a loud yowl. He kept up his antics until he crested the hill he came in on.
He retrieved Goliath’s sword before the continued his journey into the unknown.
How does God make a shepherd boy into a king? Step 13: He lets him make a foolish mistake to show him his need to turn to God for guidance.
David must have felt quite desperate to go to the enemy’s stronghold to escape the madman Saul. Once there he had to do some quick thinking to get himself out of that mess.
I’ve been asked if I think David was still a teenager at this point in his story. I thought of using this incident as exhibit A as to why I believe he was. I mean, why would someone sell himself to the enemy when he has God’s promises of provision to guide him?
Sounds like something a teenager would be foolish enough to do.
Then I took a look at my life. I still make the same type of foolish mistakes and I’m in my fifties.
I’m so glad God included this story in David’s life. It assures me that I’m not useless to Him because of my impatient actions. I know he’ll still use me like he did David.
Sometimes events transpire in our lives that appear to be a God-ordered set of circumstances. The right doors seem to be opening at the right time, so why not walk through them?
Satan is clever in his assault on us. His schemes come wrapped in colorful glitter promising good for us. Once the trap closes in around us we can only look up and ask forgiveness.
And God is always gracious with His open arms to take us back.
The consequences we bear from these times are the battle scars that remind us to trust in Him for all our decisions.
I’ll see you later. Wade